A three-day build up of arguing culminated in a screaming match in the car yesterday.
I can’t remember the last time I screamed at someone, much less lost control over how high my voice rose. Every time I thought I’d be able to reign in my emotions the words somehow still came out in a hoarse shriek. It felt good and bad, both at the same time, and it made me realize how sanitary our previous arguments had been.
Frustration. Exasperation. Tears. Hurt. But beneath it all, still beneath it all, love.
Even though I’ve been born with a practical streak, I am a hopeless romantic at heart.
Strolls at sunset, poems, soul mates sharing the same midnight sky. Chick lit love, movie love.
Quite often, our love is exactly that and a part of me wants to keep it that way—untainted, pure, protected. But then there are times when that Hollywood perfection catches and we falter—raw, scraped, cuts and bruises. It’s human to want to seek pleasure and run from pain, to want the oxytocin-fuelled, happy moments and reject the heart-aching fights and tears.
But it’s not real.
At times, real love rips you open, exposing the darkest corners of your soul, corners perhaps even you yourself hadn’t yet made peace with. Real love comes with baggage, scars from the lives you led before you came together, along with the complicated existential problems of being human. Real love isn’t bubble-wrapped; it is affected by work, family, friends and decisions—life. Real love sleeps at midnight and wakes four hours later, because loving sometimes requires you to make uncomfortable choices. Real love fights and real love hurts—fighting not to hurt the other party, but instead fighting through the hurt to reach common ground, together.
I’m not proud that we screamed at each other, but I’m proud that we did. It was like we were both saying: “This is me. Hurt, raw, vulnerable. I’m so effing mad that I can’t be nice to you right now. I’m not perfect, will you still love me when I’m mean and ugly?” A layer was peeled away, exposing a deeper part of our beings to each other, to ourselves.
And in time, after the screams quietened down and we stopped staring daggers, we wiped the tears from each other’s eyes and held each other close, our embrace a balm for the throbbing slashes we’d inflicted.
Perhaps we were both still feeling a little hurt, a little unjustified, but we’ve learnt along the way that some resolutions will only come with time, maybe even more screaming fights who knows?
Like my love says, we fight because we care for each other; if we didn’t, we wouldn’t hurt, we wouldn’t bother.
We will always want perfect days and rosy blushed moments, and we will live them, many in this lifetime, soul mates watching the sunset sky. We will always actively avoid the imperfect days and painful moments, but we will have them, many in this lifetime, soul mates fighting underneath the sunset sky.
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Assist Ed: Sanja Cloete-Jones/Ed: Sara Crolick